April 12, 2021
By: Dwayne Page
DeKalb County Clerk James L.(Jimmy) Poss and one of his employees, Judy Miller-Mcgee are now certified county finance officers after recently completing a course offered by the University of Tennessee Institute for Public Service’s County Technical Assistance Service (CTAS)
Poss and Miller-Mcgee were among approximately 150 finance personnel from counties, cities, utility districts, in Tennessee to receive CCFO certifications this month.
The Certified County Finance Officer (CCFO) program, which was started in May 2018, is administered and taught by CTAS staff with support provided by the Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury.
“The CCFO program consists of 11 monthly classes that includes topics such as county budgeting, internal controls, purchasing, governmental accounting I & II, financial reporting I & II, risk management, pensions and other post-employment benefit plans,” said CTAS CCFO training consultant Kelley McNeal. “It is designed to improve the skills of finance personnel and provide an in-depth knowledge of the various topics needed to help better manage county finances. The CCFO program encourages class participants to collaborate more with other departments within their counties and is emphasized with several case studies and group exercises to equip the participants to better understand the various financial issues and problems facing counties,” she said.
County Clerk Poss said he and Mrs. Miller-Mcgee, his deputy clerk and bookkeeper, found the Certified County Finance Officers (CCFO) program to be a great benefit.
“We were glad to be able to participate in this program and to continue to do what we can to better the office whether its in finance or daily operations and customer service. This class was focused more on budgeting and finance and although very challenging it was very beneficial to us. In fact I wish we could involve all of our employees in more of what the state offers us because we want to have additional information so we can stay on top of where we need to be to make our office even more responsive to the people we serve. ” said Poss.
Ben Rodgers, County government consultant for CTAS, congratulated Poss and Miller-Mcgee on this accomplishment.
“I want to commend Jimmy and Judy for their efforts and hard work. I think it speaks highly of them for achieving this certification. It’s a challenging class and a big accomplishment for anyone to go through no matter what position you hold in county government. Participants are put through an extensive 11 class session that teaches them everything about county government finance as much as possible including accounting, budgeting, debt management, internal controls and audits. Its not just one day a month. Its more than that. Its studying outside of work and being responsive in class. Although it is a lot of work the class is very rewarding because it exposes participants like Jimmy and Judy to a side of finance that maybe they were not exposed to before. Its immeasurable what can be learned and applied to better serve the public. Every county official and as many of their employees as they can put through it should experience something like this. Its very educational. Again I say congratulations to Jimmy and Judy. I am proud to be working with them and other fine folks like that in DeKalb County,” said Rodgers.
Two other county employees, Kristie Nokes of the County Mayor’s Office and Kenderly Cripps of the School District ‘s Central Office graduated from the program in 2019 to become certified county finance officers.